IP Traffic in 2017: 1.4 Zettabytes

Cisco predicts massive growth in global Internet usage

2 min read
IP Traffic in 2017: 1.4 Zettabytes

Based on observations made at ISPs around the world, Cisco forecasts that by 2017, annual global Internet traffic will rise to 1.4 zettabytes (that’s 1021 bytes), compared to “just” 528 exabytes (1018 bytes) in 2012. At this time 80 to 90 percent of all consumer Internet traffic will be some form of video, but other sources contributing to the rise include machine-to-machine communication and the proliferation of mobile devices.

03OLDataFlow1 Sales of smartphones and other mobile devices will help drive growth in the Middle East and Africa. In developed countries, where the smartphone market is becoming saturated, machine-to-machine communications will be a significant driver.

03OLDataFlow2 A smaller share of traffic will flow over the public Internet’s long-haul links, as content delivery networks such as Akamai will bring popular media content directly to metropolitan-area networks.

03OLDataFlow3 Video will dominate consumer Internet traffic in 2017. In fact, these figures underplay the amount of video, since much of file-sharing traffic (once the scourge of overwhelmed ISPs) consists of movies and TV shows.

This article originally appeared in print as “The Age of the Zettabyte.”

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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